Summer Grilling: Sirloin with Spicy Blueberry Sauce

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know I love my blueberries. I make a raft of things with blueberries including pies, crisps, coffee cakes and muffins.  But blueberries on steak? Well, that was a revelation when I had it.

I created this sauce after having it at a restaurant one night. I never really had a real recipe, but I told my mom about it and she asked me to give her the recipe, so then I had to make a recipe.  It’s really good stuff.

Grilled Sirloin with Spicy Blueberry Sauce


  • 2 cups frozen blueberries (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup sugar + 1 tbsp
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp red pepper flakes (depending on how hot you want it)
  • pinch of chili powder


  • 1lb Sirloin, cut into 4 pieces
  • Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste

Continue reading

Light and Tasty: Cashew Chicken Pineapple Bowls

I love this recipe. It’s so fresh and simple. I first had it at a Thai restaurant in Santa Monica and when I have cashews on hand, it is one of my first thoughts for recipes.

Today it was a quick lunch because I had leftover chicken breast and leftover rice.  And of course, a big jar of unsalted cashews.  No fancy pineapple bowl, but tasted great just the same.

Pineapple Rice

  • 2 pineapples (if you’re making bowls, otherwise just one pineapple)
  • 4 cups cooked white rice (about 2 cups uncooked)
  • 4 strips of bacon, sliced into small pieces
  • 1 boneless chicken breast, diced
  • 8-10 small shrimp, cleaned
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup cashews (I like lots, your mileage may vary)
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • 1/4 cup Ponzu

Wok or skillet Continue reading

Meals to Freeze: Beef Stew (3-Ways) and Buttermilk Biscuits

Another recipe in the Meals to Freeze series.

I cooked up a batch of beef stew for my dad. Once it was cooled I added it and two biscuits to individual freezer containers.  I used my instant pot, but I’ve listed instructions for stovetop, slow cooker, and the electric pressure cooker.

Bourbon Beef Stew

  • 1 lb chuck roast
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup bourbon, whiskey, or wine (more as desired)
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 rutabaga or parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 medium potatoes, scrubbed well and cut into large chunks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour

skillet, Dutch oven, electric pressure cooker or slow cooker

Trim fat from chuck roast and cut into 1-inch pieces. Heat oil in skillet, add beef, and quickly brown on all sides. Reduce heat, add garlic, and saute for 1 minute. Add beef and garlic to Dutch oven or slow cooker. Deglaze skillet and add liquid to the beef mixture.

Add bourbon, vegetables, bay leaf and then add enough water to cover everything. Continue reading

Meals to Freeze: Chili and Cornbread


In November I made a batch of chili for a dinner party and then froze individual servings to take to my dad on my next visit (he lives a looong drive away).  I made quite a few meals for that trip: pot roast, pasta e fagioli soup, and beef stew.

This trip, he had a few requests, and Chili and Cornbread were top of his list. So I made and packaged four servings.  As promised, here’s that recipe:

Quick and Easy Chili

  • 1 lb ground beef***
  • 3-5 Jalapenos finely chopped (depending on heat)
  • 1/2 green pepper chopped
  • 1/2 sweet onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed and chopped
  • 16 oz V8 Juice (I use the spicy version)
  • 3 cans kidney beans drained and rinsed*
  • 1 can Original Ro-Tel
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder (more as desired)
  • 1 Tsp cumin
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika

Continue reading

Mistakes Were Made: Buffalo Chicken Bites

I was pan-frying some chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces, and added a bit of barbeque sauce for a quick dinner.  I wanted to spice things up, so I grabbed the wing sauce, meaning to add a couple of squirts.

Only problem, it was not a squeeze bottle! Much like forgetting your spice container did not have a shaker top and dumping an entire container of cayenne in a dish, I managed to add at least a 1/4 cup or more of wing sauce to my skillet.  My lightly coated barbeque chicken turned into hot wing sauce chicken. So I went all the way and used this recipe:

Skillet Buffalo Chicken Bites

  • 1 lb boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • extra light olive oil
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 tsp of each:
    • salt & pepper
    • garlic powder
    • cayenne pepper
    • adobo seasoning
  • buffalo wing sauce
  • bleu cheese or ranch dressing

skillet Continue reading

Catching Up

Now that tax time is almost done and the book is published (see information here including first and second chapters), I can buckle down and get some cooking done.

Today’s plan is to finish up the frig full of leftovers and then start cooking for my dad. I’m heading to see him next week and I’ll be bringing a bunch of frozen meals for him. I’ll post photos and recipes – I’ve picked out six items that will freeze well and reheat easily.

Until then….

Grilling: Flank Steak

I don’t often prepare flank steak. I’m not fond of the texture. But I got a good deal and went about looking at how best to prepare it. I decided, since we had our first 50-degree F day since early Dec, we’d celebrate with grilling.

I pounded it with a flat mallet (between plastic wrap) before marinating it in a basic marinade and then grilling it. Continue reading

Woot! Finally, I Can See The Finish Line

The newest book is ready to go to the publisher – just finalizing the cover and figuring out how best to format the recipes.

A sneak peek of Chapter One can be found here.

Meanwhile, in my kitchen, I’ll be making Frozen Spinach Ravioli Lasagna tonight. Part of my Frozen Shortcuts. Everything doesn’t have to be gourmet, but it does have to by yummy.  I’ll post photos and recipe tomorrow.

In other news, in the odd kismet that happens sometimes with JeffreyW and myself – I’ve been making Smash Burgers all week for lunch. Maybe I’ll do a tutorial this week on how best to achieve that crispy thin burger.

Until then…